Amazon Sellers Lawyer Paralegal Discussions: Inauthentic vs Counterfeit Complaints on Amazon

Anthony – Okay, so everyone welcome to today’s Amazon Sellers Lawyer discussion with our paralegals. Today’s topic is going to be about the intricate difference between inauthentic vs counterfeit complaints on Amazon.

As all sellers know, Amazon often uses these two terms interchangeably, but they do come in different notifications from Amazon.

Sellers will all receive either an inauthentic notification or a counterfeit notification. Today, we’ll want to just get all the paralegals here to discuss what they think the differences are. First, we’ll go to Max, who’ll tell us what he thinks about the difference are.

Max – Inauthentic doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re stealing something from a different brand. It usually just means that it’s not from a great distributor, so the product will be lower quality than what the person assumes they’re getting. Counterfeit means that you’re intentionally, or not intentionally, trying to rip off a brand and sell it as your own.

Anthony – Great. Yeah, that’s definitely true. Being inauthentic for a product doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s completely fake or replicated, so that’s a good point, Max. And next, we go to Brianna.

Briana – Okay, so like Max said in terms of an inauthentic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the good itself is like a replica. In a lot of cases, you can provide invoices for a case like that and that helps clear things up for Amazon, and so then you can determine a separate root cause as to why you got that notification. Whereas counterfeit, I believe that for someone to bring upon a counterfeit complaint against you, they have to have proof of a test buy so that they can have their own reasoning, a basis for the complaint as to why they’re saying your items are counterfeit.

Anthony – I think Briana brings up a good point that counterfeit complaints are often from the brands. Obviously, when they file those complaints, it’s required that they produce a test buy to show the difference between what they say the differences are from their products and the seller’s product. Thank you, Briana. And next, we go to Chris who is going to tell us what he thinks about the differences are.

Chris – I think one of the main differences with inauthentic is it’s used a lot of times to kind of squeeze out the competition. A lot of times a vendor will say that the product the seller is selling is inauthentic when it’s really an authentic product. They just want to have all the sales go directly to them.

Anthony – Yes, we definitely see that, where these complaints are filed to kind of reduce competition and to gain market share by removing other sellers. As we know, Amazon is a very competitive platform and the more you could kind of gain market share, the better your sales are going to be. A lot of these brands in order to protect their market share on the platform, they will file those counterfeit complaints.

And in my own experience, I think the biggest difference between inauthentics and counterfeits are where the complaints are coming from.

For inauthentic complaints, we know that these complaints usually come from buyer complaints, so these come from customers who either enter a reason for their return or contact Amazon directly to complain about something they bought. A lot of times, these complaints from customers are not really substantiated. They could say things like, “Oh, the product didn’t work as I expected,” or simply just straight up calling the product fake. These types of complaints are usually interpreted by Amazon and then transferred to the seller as an inauthentic complaint.

On the other hand, we have a counterfeit complaint. Those I will say are 99% coming from the brands themselves, so Amazon doesn’t really enforce these intellectual property rights for brands. Basically, it’s up to the brands to enforce their own intellectual property. In this case, they will file these complaints on sellers who they believe are selling either a replicated, fake product or product of lower quality.

Thank you for joining us on this session of discussions with the Paralegals at Amazon Sellers Lawyer regarding inauthentic vs counterfeit complaints on Amazon. Thank you very much and hope you have a great day.